Practicing good habits when it comes to car maintenance is of the utmost importance, and some short term work can save you a lot of time, money, and headaches in the future. One such issue that needs consistent care, especially for an Audi, is wheel alignment. This article will go over the purpose of wheel alignment, why it’s important, and some red flags for when it might be time to take your car in so we can do a wheel alignment for you.
Wheel alignment should be a part of your regular automobile maintenance. It refers to adjusting the angles or camber of the wheels of the car to fit the manufacturer’s regulations. This maintenance is for making sure your tires are long lasting and perform well, and make sure your car is handling well, turning well, and driving straight.
It’s not too hard to tell when your wheel alignment isn’t quite right. If you notice any of the following happening to your Audi, it could be time to bring it into the dealer for a wheel alignment.
The most common problem associated with improper wheel alignment is pulling to one side. This is the most easily noticeable warning sign of alignment problems. If your car is pulling off to one side or without you explicitly steering in that direction, then it is most certainly time for a wheel alignment. As long as your tire pressure is correct, this is almost certainly the cause of this problem. If you feel your car veering to the side of the road (an obviously dangerous habit for a car), then it’s time to get to the Audi dealer and tune up your wheel alignment.
Sometimes a car’s steering wheel can be not properly aligned with the actual direction of the car; that is to say the steering wheel’s center is not lined up with the car and wheels being straight. This is a tell-tale sign of improper alignment, and a common problem as well.
It’s also common for the wheel not to return to the center naturally after a turn. This is a problem as well, considering you want your car to drive where you turn the wheel. Although this problem is commonly associated with sticking and binding kingpins and ball joints, wheel alignment is also a factor. Maintaining your wheels at regularly scheduled service visits can help avoid this problem as well.
Excessive tire wear along the outer edge of the tire can be a sign that you need a wheel alignment. It is often due to wheel misalignment, such as a positive camber that puts extra pressure on the outer edge of the tire as you drive. Sometimes referred to as “toe wear” or “camber wear,” this is one of the chief signs that your wheels could be misaligned, and that it could be time to make an appointment with your dealership.
Although more often due to a worn out or damaged pitman arm, ball joint, or tie rod, a loose steering wheel can sometimes be caused by bad wheel alignment. Either way, if your steering feels loose, it’s definitely unsafe and a big problem, as it affects the car’s handling and maneuverability substantially. Make sure if you feel loose steering, you bring your car into the mechanic or dealership to be inspected ASAP.
It might sound like common sense advice, but the best way to avoid issues caused by improper wheel alignment is to take your Audi into St. Matthews Import in Louisville, KY with on-site maintenance and service. You can go to the Hubbards Lane location for automotive service and repair to ensure your wheels are well-aligned so you have confidence driving your Audi.
Come see us early and often whenever you feel any issues arise, or on a regular basis to be serviced. Some of these issues can be checked at home with DIY fixes, so make sure your tire pressure is correct and even across all wheels. For everything else, stop in and see us and we’ll make sure your wheels let your Audi drive straight and true. Contact us today.
* Audi Loose Steering Wheel image credit goes to: Vesela Boycheva.